The first time I went to Coachella, it was reminiscent of a first date to adult Disneyland. My husband and I ran like milk-drunk toddlers through the festival grounds. We stumbled upon bands as we went along, making no must-see lists whatsoever. We bought expensive sweaters the first night, not knowing how cold the valley gets. Our budget was quickly blown as beers and gourmet tacos stacked up throughout the weekend.
This year, we bought beer and grilled cheese makings at Costco. In the weeks leading up to the festival, we co-ordinated with our camping buddies via an ever-beeping Facebook messenger group. Our conversations routinely turned back to an epic Hans Zimmer vs Tove Lo vs DJ Khaled debate. On the first day, our bellies were full of beer and our minds were full of scheduling conflicts.
It was a weekend of eye-brow raising performances. Radiohead’s silent disco. Lady Gaga’s disappointing iTunes plug. DJ Snake’s…performance. For three days, the campgrounds blared “Humble” in preparation for The King’s Sunday performance (and Kendrick didn’t disappoint). As usual, however, the undercards stole the show.
Preservation Jazz Hall Band beat the heat.
The Heineken Tent on the left-hand side of Main Stage is always a good area to pop a squat early on. As we sauntered past the phallic Dr Seuss garden, I was fairly stunned to hear that the Preservation Jazz Hall Band hadn’t read the heat index. Once called “more EDM than EDM“, the band didn’t hold back, attacking the heat with the kind of rhythm and style only jazz can bring. They actually got my group to chug their beers and dance in the heat near the stage for the last few songs. Hats off to those band members wearing suits at four in the afternoon.
Sunset with Two Door Cinema Club
Saturday saw many hours soaking up the water gun stream inside the DoLab. After a few of Trejo’s jackfruit tacos, we ventured back out into the sun to catch Two Door Cinema Club. “What You Know” is one of my “keep it on repeat” jams, so seeing them live was a dream. The crowd shook off it’s sweaty, sunburnt vibes and danced with wild abandon on the crisp green grass.
Move over, Lady Gaga. Nicolas Jaar is on.
Around 10:00pm on Saturday, we wandered. It’s my personal belief that every time an artist incorporates fire into their performance, Coachella is leading the flies away from something better. So when DJ Snake lit the stage up (literally), we quickly dispersed to Gucci Mane. Two songs in, I was pretty satiated. The crowd was thick and pumped for Gucci. I was dead tired and looking for dance space. We raced over to catch some of Nicolas Jaar. His latest album Sirens is a departure from his usual “Mi Mujer”, more “turned up” fair; the music builds slowly with ambient beats and delicate textures. In a live context, however, the album is dark, foreboding, and definitely “turned up”.
Our zero, Ezra Furman.
For weeks leading up to Coachella, my husband would casually mention, “I can’t wait to see Ezra Furman,” or “Just as long as